Comparison of carcinogen, carbon monoxide, and ultrafine particle emissions from narghile waterpipe and cigarette smoking: Sidestream smoke measurements and assessment of second-hand smoke emission factors

Atmos Environ (1994). 2010 Jan 1;44(1):8-14. doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2009.10.004.


The lack of scientific evidence on the constituents, properties, and health effects of second-hand waterpipe smoke has fueled controversy over whether public smoking bans should include the waterpipe. The purpose of this study was to investigate and compare emissions of ultrafine particles (UFP, <100 nm), carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), volatile aldehydes, and carbon monoxide (CO) for cigarettes and narghile (shisha, hookah) waterpipes. These smoke constituents are associated with a variety of cancers, and heart and pulmonary diseases, and span the volatility range found in tobacco smoke.Sidestream cigarette and waterpipe smoke was captured and aged in a 1 m(3) Teflon-coated chamber operating at 1.5 air changes per hour (ACH). The chamber was characterized for particle mass and number surface deposition rates. UFP and CO concentrations were measured online using a fast particle spectrometer (TSI 3090 Engine Exhaust Particle Sizer), and an indoor air quality monitor. Particulate PAH and gaseous volatile aldehydes were captured on glass fiber filters and DNPH-coated SPE cartridges, respectively, and analyzed off-line using GC-MS and HPLC-MS. PAH compounds quantified were the 5- and 6-ring compounds of the EPA priority list. Measured aldehydes consisted of formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, methacrolein, and propionaldehyde.We found that a single waterpipe use session emits in the sidestream smoke approximately four times the carcinogenic PAH, four times the volatile aldehydes, and 30 times the CO of a single cigarette. Accounting for exhaled mainstream smoke, and given a habitual smoker smoking rate of 2 cigarettes per hour, during a typical one-hour waterpipe use session a waterpipe smoker likely generates ambient carcinogens and toxicants equivalent to 2-10 cigarette smokers, depending on the compound in question. There is therefore good reason to include waterpipe tobacco smoking in public smoking bans.